/ Updated 
By Tim Stelloh

The Boy Scouts of America began accepting transgender people into its scouting programs on Monday, the organization said.

A Boy Scouts decal.Tony Gutierrez / AP

Spokeswoman Effie Delimarkos said in a statement that the group's more than century-old practice of determining eligibility by birth certificate was no longer sufficient amid a wide variation in state laws that interpret gender identity differently.

"Starting today, we will accept and register youth in the Cub and Boy Scout programs based on the gender identity indicated on the application," Delimarkos said. "Our organizations and local councils will help find units that can provide for the best interest of the child."

The news comes 18 months after another historic shift that saw the end of the Boy Scout's decades-long ban on gay scout leaders.